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Kelly speaks

Brian Kelly had his first close-up with the media, meeting with four media outlets (not us) for over 40 minutes and dishing on a variety of topics. I think the timing of this was perfect for Kelly -- it’s a super slow news cycle right now with the recruiting dead and the holidays upon us -- getting him maximum mileage out of the interview session.

Here are a few choice tidbits:

On the state of the program:

“This program is not broke. But there are some things that need to be fixed. Some of the things that need to be fixed are things I believe has held this program back from winning. I don’t have them all yet, but I got a sense and feel for it early on.”

On quarterback Dayne Crist:

“I really enjoyed the time I spent with him. Let’s face it: Charlie (Weis) and Ron Powlus are really good at what they do. They prepared him from an Xs and Os standpoint. What I liked more about it was the conversation we were able to have. ... In a very short period of time, I could tell he’s a guy that wants to be challenged... He’ll be able to do 7-on-7, non-contact stuff (in spring practice). I’m confident in that.”

On balancing good coaches with good recruiters:

“I think you have to put all of those together, but I’m going to tell you this, there’s no way we can short the young man that decides to go to Notre Dame because he’s getting coached by a recruiter. Not happening with me. If it’s my son and he’s being coached by less of a teacher, less of a developer of young men, but he’s one heck of a recruiter, I wouldn’t want it for my son, so it’s not going to happen on this staff. To be on my staff, you’ve got to be able to stand on your two feet as a coach, a teacher, a mentor and a recruiter.”

On the enormity of coaching at Notre Dame:

“Being a head coach for 20 years, a lot of the things I’m going through are things I’m experienced at. But when you come on campus, there’s definitely a different feeling. When you sit in your office and your call list is, who do you call back first -- Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Dick Ebersol? So clearly, you get the enormity of it.”

On the timeline for completing his coaching staff:

“In the big picture, I’m not concerned about it. As I look at where we want to be as a football program, big picture it’s not a concern. Protecting the assets in this class, it’s a concern of mine. We’re working hard to assemble coaches that may have no connection with Cincinnati and that’s going to be something that hopefully we can get wrapped up here very, very soon. The first names that you’ll see popping won’t be Cincinnati names, if that gives you a little bit of track to follow down. That’s kind of where we’re going.”